Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi

You know, I am in love with Darjeeling and its surroundings. I love the place not just because of its natural beauty. Darjeeling is beautiful indeed; but I love its people too. I can smell music in their every gesture…

His name was Pema [as long as I remember, ‘Dorji’ was his surname]. I have seen people addressing each other as ‘Daju’ in the Gorkhaland region, so I was calling him ‘Pema Daju’.

After spending a short vacation on the hills I was coming down to the plains and Pema Daju was taking me in a car to Bagdogra. I loved the person from the very beginning, when he introduced himself and started calling me as ‘brother’ on his own.

Before we start from Darjeeling, while I was loading my luggage on the car, he suggested me to dump my bags on the back seat, and to sit in the front, beside him. Somehow he liked me as a person. It was a long way to travel and according to him, there was chance for me to get bored… so he offered me his company… He said in Hindi: Bhaiya, itne lambe raaste, aap bore ho jaoge. Samaan pichhe daal kar aap aaram se aage a kar baith jaiye. BateN karte karte waqt nikal jayegi.

I accepted his offerings. What more a human being can ever offer to another human being… other than the company?

Mount Kanchenjunga knows; what a journey it was. We shared a lot. We talked about people, politics, music, peace and honesty.

I remember, I told him that, just before I left for Darjeeling, my motorcycle was stolen, and the local police station was denying to take the FIR, as I denied to involve any political party in the story. After I go back to Calcutta I’ll again have to deal with these kind of people.

He was so surprised… No, not because of the behaviour of the police station, but he was struggling with this very thought, that how can someone steal ones motorcycle!!! He said, ‘you know brother; there are no thieves in our villages, and we do not need the police to prevent this kind of actions. We are small communities, everyone knows each other. There are one or two bad people in our society as well. But, if someone steals anything, we boycott him socially, and do not do anything else. The person who done the crime; feels ashamed, and move out of the society on his own. For the very fear of ‘shame’ people generally do not commit any crime.’

Tere masoom sawaloN se pareshaan hun main!!! Pema Daju…

I miss you Pema Daju. You know, I am not being able to visit the hills for long. They say, I am not fit enough to visit the hills anymore… Do you remember; that you enthusiastically played this song for me in your car stereo, so that I do not get bored? Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi hayraan hun main…?

Mount Kanchenjunga knows; I never heard this song before, like the way I did. You made me re-discover the song, Pema Daju. While listening to it, I was thinking of playing it on my harmonica for the first time in my life. What else could I do?

Eventually, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport, Dum Dum; was successfully managed to take away the thought from my mind. But whenever I heard this song after that, I remembered you, Pema Daju.

I do not know when I’ll be able to go to the hills again… I do not know whether we will meet again in our lives or not… I do not know whether you will still remember me Pema Daju… It is almost four years now…

At last I have been able to play this song on my harmonica. I do not know whether you will be able to listen to my effort or not, but I would like to put it as my humble offering for you and your co-villagers at Gorkhaland…

Sumanta Basu
September 26, 2011
Dum Dum Cantonment

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